RANCHO MIRAGE – A Rancho Mirage woman who needled Katherine “Kate” Spates throughout the election cycle with at least a half dozen emails – all aimed at telling Spates how incompetent she is — refuses to move on and appears to take delight in shaming and belittling another woman.
As recently as Saturday, April 14, four days after the unofficial results of the Rancho Mirage City Council election were released and the contentious, nasty election was in the history books, Amy Singletary sent Spates an email filled with venom and wanton meanness in sentence after sentence.
“You lost so horribly because you are clearly a woman of zero character and an embarrassment to women who are intelligent and that live with integrity,” Singletary wrote in email obtained by Uken Report. “This city was drug through the mud because of you and your campaign.”
Singletary, who works as the business manager for the Hollywood-based Strategic Perception Inc., went on to say that, “I’m ashamed of you. You’re not, and never were, worthy of public office in a city as great as RM.”
In a rather odd twist, the company Singletary works for creates political and corporate advertisements for politicians and creates public affairs campaigns.
In the blistering and biting email, Singletary also said, “I can’t be more pleased that you lost so embarrassingly bad in this election. … Please consider moving, as you are not the type of person that deserves to live in the beautiful city.”
Singletary, a proponent of G. Dana Hobart, referred to Spates’ “boyfriend” as a “thug.” Spates is in a self-described committed relationship with Skip Paige, the former COO of Goldenvoice. In that position, Paige helped develop the Coachella, Stagecoach and Desert Trip music festivals into signature, and sell-out events in the Coachella Valley.
Spates garnered more than 13 percent of the vote to place fourth in the field of six in the April 10 City Council election. The top three vote-getters earned seats on the City Council. They were incumbents Mayor Charles Townsend Vinci, Hobart and Iris Smotrich.
“This is what happens when you get in bed with the CVAG crooks that funded your campaign,” Singletary said.
You may read her entire email to Spates HERE. Singletary’s email address, physical address and phone number have been redacted.
The emails are one more chapter in a campaign that was blemished with ugliness aimed at challengers. The message was abundantly clear: Damn anyone who dare challenge the status quo.
Spates was the target of an anonymous letter campaign. In the letter, Spates is referred to as a “carpetbagger,” “financed by her boyfriend,” “can’t be trusted,” and more. It’s go-to tactic in Rancho Mirage when incumbents are challenged by promising candidates. Additionally, Hobart resorted to publicly name-calling and belittling one of the candidates. He referred to Michael Harrington, a family law attorney, as an “alleged” attorney. His followers followed his lead.
The odious emails also come at a time when women are finally starting to make a breakthrough, saying enough is enough when it comes to verbal, sexual and emotional harassment. What would motivate one woman to treat another woman with such blatant disregard and disrespect?
Singletary, who declined to be interviewed for this story, started her verbal assault on Spates as early as Jan. 29, according to emails Uken Report obtained.
“I’ve heard that CV Link is supporting and backing select people to try to buy their way into office so they can overturn what the people want,” Singletary wrote to Spates on Jan. 29. “Word around town is that you are one of those people.”
Then, Singletary proceeded to speak for others.
“Our group of 582 smart, educated women won’t vote for someone just because she’s female,” Singletary wrote. “We will, however, check who your donors are … Good luck in your race. I’m sorry that our group will not be voting for you. But we simply cannot have a women (sic) in office that doesn’t’ understand the basics of business, leadership and governing. Growing up or spending time around here isn’t a qualification deserving of a seat on City Council.”
Spates is an independent business woman who ran her own business in the Coachella Valley for 15 years.
In a review of the emails and exchanges, Spates offered to meet with Singletary to discuss any concerns she might have.
Singletary did not respond or take Spates up on her offer.
Spates extended an invitation to Singletary to meet her for coffee at her weekly Tuesday meetings at Acqua California Bistro.
Singletary never took Spates up on the offer.
In one of the exchanges Spates referred to Singletary’s “bullying tactics.”
In a condescending choice of words, Singletary responded, “You’re being far too sensitive. A common mistake with new political candidates.”
You may read some of the exchanges between the two women HERE.
Spates is undeterred by the viciousness of a handful of people and told Uken Report that her commitment to Rancho Mirage and the Coachella Valley is stronger than ever. She vowed to continue to be involved in many local organizations as always.
“During the campaign, I received an abundance of positive emails, calls and texts from Rancho Mirage residents, many of whom I have never met,” Spates said in an email interview. “I received only a handful of negative direct communications, but this one person stood out because she sent multiple harassing emails.
“Even after I responded to her in a very civilized manner, but also explained I wouldn’t be silenced or intimidated by her bullying, she continued,” Spates said. “In the most recent message (sent four days after the election) for her to gloat and say I should be ashamed of myself along with her suggestion that I move, feels threatening and that is unacceptable.
However, Spates added, that it’s not entirely surprising as the incumbents’ loyal followers and commissioners display these types of behaviors. Charlie Barrett, Ron Sharrow, and Steve Grasha each displayed “despicable behaviors” in an online group.
Barrett, who sits on the Speaker Series Commission, operates a Facebook group, “Rancho Mirage News,” Spates said. “(He) frequently types in all caps, which is considered “yelling” in the online world. He would censor and/or block anyone with an opposing opinion, yet allow horrible, name-calling and lies to remain posted as long as the comments were about the challengers.”
“Bullying extends beyond the schoolyard playground in this city and unfortunately appears to be a fabric of the culture, which honestly, is another reason why I decided to run in this election and make a difference in our community.”